Feb. 4, 2003
Columbia, S.C. – University of South Carolina head baseball coach Ray Tanner has been selected as head coach for the 2003 USA Baseball National Team. Following a summer schedule that includes approximately 25 games in the U.S., Tanner will head USA Baseball at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
“I am extremely honored to be selected as the head coach of the national team,” said South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner. “I have had a great affiliation with USA Baseball and I’m looking forward to coaching the best college players in the country. It is a special privilege to wear the red, white and blue while representing our great nation on the baseball diamond.”
This will be Tanner’s fifth stint with USA Baseball, an affiliation that began as an assistant coach with the USA National Team in 1993. From 1995-96, Tanner served as an assistant the USA National Team that represented the U.S. in the Games of the XXVI Olympiad in Atlanta during the summer of 1996. Tanner was also an assistant coach with the United States Olympic Team in 2000 that won the gold medal in Sydney. Dick Cooke of Davidson University, Mark Scalf of UNC Wilmington and Dave Weathers of Long Beach State University will serve as assistant coaches for the team. In June, USA Baseball will invite 36 of the nation’s top freshman and sophomore collegiate players to the USA Baseball National Team Trials. Team USA will open their tour with a five-game series against the Japanese Collegiate All-Stars, and then play additional games during July in various states before traveling to the Pan Am Games.
Tanner is entering his seventh season as head baseball coach at the University of South Carolina. Over the past three seasons under Coach Tanner, South Carolina has won more games than any team in Division I baseball, with 162 wins. The 2002 Gamecocks set a single-season record for wins finishing with a 57-18 record, reaching the championship game at the College World Series.
With Coach Tanner at the helm, the Gamecocks have won two of the last three SEC Championships (2002, 2000) as well as three of the last four SEC Eastern Division Titles (2002, 2000, 1999). Carolina has also made three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Regional and NCAA Super Regional. USC also set a new total attendance record in 2002 with 151,521 fans flocking to Sarge Frye Field. In the last three years, over 134,000 fans have attended games each season at “The Sarge.”
Tanner’s six-year record at South Carolina is 274-113 with a winning percentage of .708. His 15-year record as a collegiate head coach is 669-285-3. His overall winning percentage of .701 is almost identical to his percentage with the Gamecocks. Thirty-five Carolina players have signed professional baseball contracts over the last six seasons under Coach Tanner including nine players from the 2002 squad (Gary Bell, Trey Dyson, Garris Gonce, Drew Meyer, Yaron Peters, Chris Spigner, Blake Taylor, John Wesley, Steven Whetstone). Three players from USC (Drew Meyer (2002), Adam Everett (1998), Brian Roberts (1999)) have been drafted in the first round.